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Morning Sun
  • PATRICK'S PEOPLE: Elvis lives on in Joseph Hall

  • Elvis will be back in the building at 7 p.m. June 23 at Pittsburg Memorial Auditorium.

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  • Elvis will be back in the building at 7 p.m. June 23 at Pittsburg Memorial Auditorium.
    At least, Elvis tribute artist Joseph Hall portrays the King’s music and movements as faithfully and respectfully as he can in his “Elvis Rock ‘N’ Remember” show.
    He was born in 1984, seven years after the real Elvis Presley died, but his music filled the home where Hall grew up.
    “My dad is a big Elvis fan,” he said in a telephone interview from Branson, Mo., where he lives with his family and just started his fourth season at the Americana Theatre.
    For his 21st birthday, his father took Hall to Las Vegas.
    “I saw my very first Elvis impersonator,” he said. “That guy was so good I was in awe. When I was 22, I went to a company Halloween party dressed as Elvis, and a woman there asked if I’d ever done any Elvis songs. If I did, I could come to her bar and sing.”
    Hall hadn’t really given it any thought, had no vocal training and no singing experience beyond a few high school productions. But he learned some songs, sang them at the bar and people got to talking about him.
    At first he wasn’t sure how seriously he should take his Elvis performances or if this could turn into a career.
    “At that time I’d been working in my father’s restaurant,” Hall said.
    He did realize that, to be taken seriously, he would have to work at training his ear, recording his voice, listening to the recordings and perfecting his technique to get the sound right. He has also done extensive research on Presley’s stage persona.
    In 2008 Hall  starred on NBC’s “America’s Got Talent,” making six TV appearances viewed by more than 90 million people and placed as one of the top 10 finalists. He was on Good Morning America, USA Today and Fox News, and has performed from Las Vegas, Nev., to Porthcawl, Wales. He has worked with Elvis Presley Enterprises, Legends in Concert and has been officially recognized as one of the top tribute artists in the world.
    “From my exposure on ‘America’s Got Talent’ my career exploded,” Hall said.
    He’s been honored to make the acquaintance of Louise Smith, widow of Gene Smith, Presley’s first cousin and closest friend.
    “She can tell so many stories,” Hall said. “It’s wonderful to have someone of her status in my corner.”
    He does his Branson show Monday through Friday, and tours on the weekends.
    “I’ve been doing Elvis for six years now and this is my first time to come to Pittsburg,” Hall said. “It’s going to be fantastic. We do all three periods of Elvis and his career, the 1950s, 1960s and the Vegas years. The show appeals to all ages. The thing about Elvis is that he’s timeless.”
    Page 2 of 2 - He added that his show is family-friendly.
    “A few days ago we had a show with four generations present, from the great-grandmother on down,” Hall said. “Elvis just continues to get passed down. He has the most devoted fan base there is.”
    And, despite the praise he now gets for his sound, moves and stage presence, Hall is firm on one point.
    “There will never be another Elvis,” he said.
    Tickets can be purchased at the Pittsburg Memorial Auditorium box office, by calling 620-231-7827 or online  at www.memorialauditorium.org.
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